Photo via Wikimedia Commons.
Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

Interested in counting real sheep, not just in your head?

Volunteers are being sought to assist in counting and documenting bighorn sheep in the San Gabriel Mountains.

No survey experience is necessary to participate, but volunteers must attend a 6 p.m. orientation session on Feb. 25 at the Angeles National Forest Supervisor’s Office in Arcadia.

Volunteers will hike to designated observation sites in the San Gabriel Mountains in the early hours of Feb. 26 to help wildlife biologists count and record the sheep throughout the day.

Participants must be at least 16 years old and capable of hiking one mile in rugged terrain, although most survey routes are longer. In general, hikes will not be along trails, and accessing survey points will involve scrambling over boulders, climbing up steep slopes and/or bush-whacking through chaparral.

Volunteers are encouraged to bring binoculars or spotting scopes in addition to hiking gear. Mountain weather can be unpredictable and participants should be prepared to spend several hours hiking and additional time making observations in cold and windy weather.

Surveys for bighorn sheep in the San Gabriel range have been conducted annually since 1979. The mountain range once held an estimated 740 sheep, which made the San Gabriel population the largest population of desert bighorn sheep in California.

The bighorn population declined more than 80 percent through the 1980s but appears to be on the increase, with recent estimates yielding around 400 animals, according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Volunteers can sign up online at or call (909) 584-9012 to request a volunteer packet.

–City News Service 

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.